Christian pastor sues Whole Foods in anti-gay cake row

Jordan Brown is suing Whole Foods because he says an employee added an offensive word to a cake.Jordan Brown

The pastor of a nondenominational Christian church in Texas is embroiled in a bizarre row with the Whole Foods grocery chain over an offensive message on a cake supplied by one of its stores.

Jordan Brown, who is gay and the founder of the Church of Open Doors, ordered a cake and asked for the slogan 'Love Wins' to be written on it. However, he claims he noticed on his way home that an employee had added an offensive word to the lettering.

However, when he complained to the store it denied responsibility. It said its employee "wrote 'Love Wins' at the top of the cake as requested by the guest, and that's exactly how the cake was packaged and sold at the store."

The Whole Foods statement added: "We stand behind our bakery team member, who is part of the LGBTQ community, and the additional team members from the store, who confirmed the cake was decorated with only the message 'Love Wins.'"

Brown's lawyer called the statement "outrageous." "My client doesn't have blue icing in his house. This is not a hoax. He received the cake this way, and Whole Foods' response doesn't help us," said lawyer Austin Kaplan.

Brown is suing the company for emotional distress and for failing to respond adequately to his complaint.

In his lawsuit he says that after originally apologising and offering to replace the cake and terminate the employee responsible, a Whole Foods employee telephoned him and said an investigation had revealed nothing wrong.

The lawsuit says that Whole Foods' conduct was "extreme and outrageous – so outrageous in character and degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency and be regarded as atrocious and intolerable in a civilized community". Brown is seeking damages and costs.